What is a Histogram? How a Histogram Works to Display Data


What is a Histogram : A histogram is a graphical representation of data that shows the distribution and frequency of values in a dataset. It is a visual way to display the shape of a dataset and identify patterns or trends in the data. Histograms are widely used in various fields, including statistics, mathematics, data analysis, and image processing.

Why are Histograms Used?

Histograms are used to gain insights into the distribution of data and understand its underlying characteristics. They allow us to:

  • Identify the central tendency and spread of data.
  • Detect outliers and anomalies.
  • Determine whether data follows a specific pattern or distribution.
  • Make data-driven decisions based on patterns and trends.
  • Compare different datasets and analyze their similarities and differences.

How to Create a Histogram

Creating a histogram involves several steps:

  1. Collecting Data: Gather the data you want to represent in the histogram.
  2. Choosing the Number of Bins: Decide the number of intervals (bins) into which you will group your data. Too few bins may oversimplify the representation, while too many can obscure the underlying patterns.
  3. Calculating Frequency: Count the number of data points falling into each bin.
  4. Plotting the Histogram: On the x-axis, represent the range of data, and on the y-axis, show the frequency of data points in each bin. Plot the bars to visualize the distribution.

Interpretation of Histograms

Interpreting a histogram involves understanding the shape of the distribution. Common shapes include:

  • Symmetrical (Bell-shaped): Indicates a normal distribution with equal frequencies on both sides of the center.
  • Skewed: Either positively skewed (tail on the right) or negatively skewed (tail on the left), showing a long tail in one direction.
  • Uniform: Displays an even distribution of data points.
  • Bimodal or Multimodal: Shows multiple peaks, indicating multiple groups or subpopulations.

Histogram vs. Bar Graph

Though histograms and bar graphs share similarities, they have distinct purposes. Histograms represent quantitative data with continuous intervals and no gaps, while bar graphs show categorical data with distinct categories. Histograms have no space between bars, as the data is continuous, while bar graphs have gaps between bars.

Types of Histograms

There are various types of histograms based on the data and the information represented:

  1. Simple Histogram: The most common type that shows the frequency of data within each bin.
  2. Cumulative Histogram: Displays the cumulative frequency as bars, making it easier to observe the cumulative distribution.
  3. Frequency Polygon: Similar to a line graph, it connects the midpoints of the tops of bars, giving a smoother representation.
  4. Relative Frequency Histogram: Represents the proportion or percentage of data in each bin relative to the total number of data points.

Common Applications of Histograms

Histograms find applications in numerous fields, such as:

  • Business and Finance: Analyzing sales, revenue, and financial data.
  • Quality Control: Identifying defects and variations in production processes.
  • Data Analysis in Science and Research: Understanding experimental results and data distributions.
  • Image Processing and Photography: Adjusting brightness, contrast, and color levels.

Advantages of Using Histograms

Histograms offer several advantages:

  • Clear Visualization: They provide a clear and intuitive representation of data distribution.
  • Quick Data Analysis: Identifying patterns and outliers becomes easy.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Data-driven decisions are facilitated through histograms.
  • Easy Comparison: Comparing different datasets is straightforward.

Limitations of Histograms

Despite their usefulness, histograms have some limitations:

  • Sensitivity to Bin Size: Different bin sizes can result in different interpretations.
  • Data Simplification: The original data points are lost in the histogram representation.
  • Subjectivity: The choice of bins can influence the perception of data.

Tips for Effective Histogram Interpretation

To effectively interpret histograms:

  • Understand the Context: Consider the domain and purpose of the data analysis.
  • Select Appropriate Bins: Choose the right number of bins to reveal important details.
  • Analyze Skewness: Identify and analyze any skewness in the distribution.
  • Compare Multiple Histograms: Compare multiple histograms to draw meaningful conclusions.

How a Histogram Works to Display Data

A histogram is a graphical representation used to display the distribution of data. It provides a visual summary of how data is distributed across different intervals or “bins.” The primary purpose of a histogram is to show the frequency or count of data points falling within each bin. Here’s how a histogram works to display data:

Data Preparation:

Before creating a histogram, the data needs to be organized into intervals or bins. These bins are essentially ranges that cover specific values of the data. The number of bins can vary, but it’s essential to choose an appropriate number to effectively visualize the data distribution.

Frequency Calculation:

Once the data is sorted into bins, the next step is to count how many data points fall into each bin. This count represents the frequency of data points within that particular range.

Bar Representation:

The histogram is constructed using bars, where the width of each bar corresponds to the width of the bin, and the height of the bar represents the frequency of data points in that bin.

Vertical Axis:

The vertical axis (y-axis) of the histogram represents the frequency of data points in each bin. It displays the count of data points falling within the respective intervals.

Horizontal Axis:

The horizontal axis (x-axis) of the histogram represents the range or intervals of the data. It displays the boundaries of the bins.


Once the histogram is created, it provides a visual representation of how the data is spread across different values or intervals. It allows us to observe patterns, central tendency, and dispersion of the data. Common patterns to look for in histograms include normal distribution, skewed distribution (either positively or negatively skewed), bimodal distribution, etc.

Histograms are particularly useful when dealing with large datasets or continuous data, as they condense the information into a more manageable and easy-to-interpret format.


In conclusion, histograms are powerful tools for understanding and analyzing data distributions. They provide valuable insights into datasets, enabling data-driven decisions across various industries and research fields. By understanding the patterns and trends in data, one can make informed choices and draw accurate conclusions.

For More Information

The 6 New Advantages Of Playing Bingo Online 

Netflix : The 4 Best Spy Movies on Netflix 2022 

Solar System : New Making a Good Model of the Solar System 

4 Best Movies About Queen Elizabeth II Worth Seeing 

Best Chick Flicks on Netflix in 2022

Using Xdownder Ext to Best Manage Your 1000+ Downloads 

Pogby – Who is Paul Pogba? Best Football Players in world 

4 Cost Effective Web Application Security Testing Procedures 

How to Install New DrPhone on Your PC : Recover 1000+ Deleted Files 

How to Become a Biotechnologist – New 3 Good Developing Processes 

6 New Age Trends in Great Healthcare Technology 

The Best Bakery Logo Maker in 2022 

5 Tips for a 2022 Best Tech Startup 

Can A Hair Transplants Best for Improve Self Esteem? 

The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Shoes for Every Occasion 

Acne Care – 6 Formulations Dermatologists Recommend to Fight Acne 

What Hair Dye to Choose and What Should We Pay Attention To? 

The Advantages of Wearing a Big Hat 3 Crucial Points That You Need to Know 

How to Avoid 4 Types Scams in Crypto Investment 

Ethereum – 4 Best Ways to Make Money With Ethereum

Traveling the World With Limited Income? Get Creative! 

HDB Loan – Getting the Best Deal for Refinancing Your HDB Loan 

Hiring an Attorney for Mesothelioma on Best 3 Basis and Reviews 

Pirzas – The Best Number 8 For Your Life Path 


About Author

Mikayla Dickson is the Managing Partner of PostingPapa – a multinational advertising agency focused on digital marketing that spans Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Pakistan.

Comments are closed.